Student Health Services

Health Services at Anna Maria College supports students’ well-being and success by assisting them in maintaining good physical and emotional health. We believe in a holistic approach to health and our goal is to provide students with the tools necessary to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. The office provides care for acute and minor illness and injuries, information on disease prevention, and programming tools for optimizing a healthy lifestyle.

Health Services is overseen by our Director of Clinic Services Jessica Hitchcock, NP-C. Care is coordinated with a Medical Doctor (Dr. Leonard Waice) as needed. Visits are by appointment; we do not accept walk-ins but can usually accommodate same-day scheduling. Students may call our office manager, Judy Pingitore at (508) 849-3315 or email healthservices@annamaria.edu to schedule an appointment.

In the event of an emergency, please call Public Safety at (508) 494-9010 or 911.

Please note, masks are still required for all visitors to the Health & Counseling Services office. We will provide one for you if needed.

To report a positive Covid test, please complete this formstack

Click here for Monkeypox Information

If you have been exposed to Monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms, you need to isolate yourself and call Health Services for an appointment right away. On weekends you can be seen at a local urgent care or public health clinic.

Hours, Office & Staff

Meet our staff and view our hours

Learn More

Immunization Compliance

Learn about our immunization requirements

Learn More

Off Campus Facilities

Learn about local off-campus resources: Urgent Care, Pharmacies, etc.

Learn More

COVID-19 Information

Learn more about our COVID-19 Protocols

Learn More

Medical Absences

Learn more about our Medical Absence Policy

Learn More

Hours, Office & Staff

Health Services is open for medical appointments M-F 8:30am-4:30pm when academic classes are in session.
Visits are by appointment; walk-ins are not accepted but we can usually accommodate same-day scheduling. Students may call our office manager, Judy Pingitore at (508) 849-3315 or email healthservices@annamaria.edu to schedule an appointment.

Health Services is overseen by our Director of Clinic Services Jessica Hitchcock, NP-C. When needed, care is coordinated with a Medical Doctor (Dr. Leonard Waice). The office provides care for acute and minor illness and injuries, information on disease prevention, and programming tools for optimizing a healthy lifestyle.

In the event of an emergency, please call Public Safety at (508) 494-9010 or 911.

Jessica Hitchcock NP-C

Director of Clinic Services
Health Services

Judy Pingitore

Office Manager
Health and Counseling Services
(508) 849-3315

Services Provided

Students with concerns for either Covid or Monkeypox symptoms can be seen at Health Services. Please inform our staff when you call to schedule an appointment so we can appropriately prepare for your visit.

Health Services providers see students for primary medical care and treatment for acute health conditions with a focus on recovery and keeping you healthy. Our Nurse Practitioners can order lab and imaging tests, and prescribe medication if needed. We can treat, but are not limited to, the following conditions:

  • colds, cough, sinus infections, flu, Covid-19
  • sore throat, fever
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • back pain, joint pain, minor sports injuries
  • headache, dizziness
  • asthma, allergies
  • minor cuts, bruises, burns
  • insect bites, rashes, skin infection, cold sores
  • minor eye conditions (pink eye, stye)
  • ear discomfort, ear wax removal
  • abdominal pain, upset stomach, heartburn
  • urinary tract infection

We also offer the following services:

  • Health Promotion
  • Smoking cessation
  • HIV testing and education
  • Concussion evaluation and management
  • Suture and staple removal
  • Gynecology services
  • Sexual health
  • STI screening
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Specialty referrals

The Health Services staff at Anna Maria College are committed to providing students with clear, up-to-date, and candid information regarding sexual health and related issues. Our providers are qualified to provide information, testing, and prescriptions for a wide variety of issues related to sexual health matters including sexually transmitted infections. Health Services staff prescribes contraceptive medication for medical needs. Our office will meet the health needs of all students either within the clinic or by an off-campus referral process. Educational opportunities are provided with consideration for confidentiality, sensitivity, and compassion. The goal of this approach is not only to provide medically accurate information, but to assist students in clarifying their values, making decisions, and assuming personal and social responsibility for their choices.

Appointments at Health Services are provided at no charge for enrolled students, including visit and point-of-care tests. Our office uses Quest Diagnostics for laboratory services not offered in clinic. Students are responsible for costs associated with off-campus lab tests, imaging, prescriptions, and referrals. All students are required to carry health insurance and are responsible for understanding their insurance plan benefits. For questions about student health insurance offered through the College, please contact Student Accounts and Billing.

Medical Absences

Health and Counseling Services providers do not provide excuse notes for missed class or work time due to visits to our office. Most of the care we provide is non-urgent in nature and students can schedule around their academic and other commitments.

For urgent visits, students may request a written note confirming the date and time that they were seen. It is the student’s discretion whether they share that information and with whom.

It is the student’s responsibility to inform professors and employers of absences due to illness or other medical issues, and to plan for meeting their coursework requirements. We recommend contacting professors as soon as possible when you know you will be absent from class.

As of June 2022, our office no longer provides “excused absence” notifications to Academic Affairs for medical related absences of 5 consecutive days or less. If you have a health-related absence lasting more than 5 consecutive days, please contact the Health Services office with supporting information and we will be glad to confirm your absence with a formal notification to Academic Affairs. This process is to help facilitate academic support in times of health-related need.

Our complete policy on Health-Related Absences can be reviewed HERE.

Immunization Requirements

Compliance requirements are upheld by several Anna Maria College Departments. Health Services manages the Medical Immunization Compliance requirements mandated by the State of Massachusetts to protect you, your peers, and the health of the public.

A downloadable copy of required vaccinations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health can be found here.

Any student not meeting these requirements could be prevented from registering and attending classes, and/or moving into housing until the information is provided.

Anna Maria College Health Services has partnered with Medicat to deliver higher quality care more efficiently. All Health Services registration forms and immunization records must be submitted through the Medicat Patient Portal. Health Services is no longer able to accept form submissions by email or fax. Click here to access the Medicat System*.

*If it is your first time visiting, you will need to register. Once registered, you will be able to complete all of your health service forms.

Do I need to be compliant with immunizations?

Yes. The State of Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires that a completed medical file for each student be maintained in Health Services. Each student must have had a physical examination within one year of admission. The pre-entrance immunization requirements at Anna Maria College are based on the Massachusetts Law 105 CMR 220.000.

All students at Anna Maria College must present evidence that they are adequately immunized in order to register for classes.

What Immunizations Are Required?

Required immunizations for all students include:

  • two-dose series of MMR
  • three-dose series of Hep B
  • two-dose series Varicella (or proof of history of disease)
  • Meningococcal vaccine (for all full-time students, residential and commuter, 21 years of age or younger)
  • Tdap vaccination. All international students need to have Tdap immunization within 12 weeks of arrival in the U.S.
  • Covid-19 vaccination – initial vaccine series (two doses of Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax, or one dose of Janssen & Janssen) AND booster dose when eligible

Annual flu vaccination is also strongly recommended.

For international students, WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccine series are acceptable.

When do I need to be compliant by?

Anna Maria College requires all students and employees to be fully vaccinated by the date they arrive on campus.

Immunization documentation compliance needs to be completed before you start your first classes. For students entering College for Fall Semester, the due date is July 31st. For students entering for Spring Semester, the due date is January 1st.

This compliance requirement will continue throughout your tenure at Anna Maria College and the status of compliance may change. This means students may fall in and out of compliance at various times throughout the year because some immunizations expire or new requirements are added by the State of Massachusetts or the College. You will receive notification if you go from compliant to non-compliant, but you should review your medical immunization records periodically to make sure you are current and up to date.

Can I submit a waiver?

Yes, religious and medical exemptions are accepted per Massachusetts State Law 105 CMR 220.000 and M.G. L.c. 76,ss.15,15C,15D

  • Religious Waiver: A request to waive immunization requirements on religious grounds requires a personal statement provided by the student that documents how the required immunization(s) conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
  • Medical Waiver: A request to waive immunization requirements on medical grounds requires certification from a licensed medical provider that the required immunization(s) is contraindicated due to a prior adverse reaction or current medical condition.

To submit a waiver request, download and complete the Waiver Request Form, and gather required supporting documentation depending on type of waiver being requested. You must then upload a scanned copy of your completed and signed Waiver Request Form and supporting documents to the Medicat Patient Portal Upload tab. Waiver requests for both medical and religious reasons must be re-submitted annually at the start of the school year.

The only exception to this process is a waiver request for Meningitis vaccination specifically. Meningitis vaccination is required for all College students age 21 and under. To waive the Meningitis vaccine requirement, you must download, review, and sign the Massachusetts State Meningitis Information and Waiver Form. Then upload a scanned copy of the completed form to the Medicat Patient Portal Upload tab.

School immunization requirements exist to protect students and members of their community from serious vaccine preventable diseases by ensuring high vaccination rates.

In the event of an identified public health risk, emergency, outbreak, or epidemic; exempt individuals may be isolated and/or excluded from campus, including but not limited to all classes, activities, travel, and on-campus housing.

How do I enter and upload my Immunization record information to Medicat?

First, login to your Medicat Patient Portal account (see below for instructions for how to register for the portal).

Next, select the “Enter Dates” option under the Immunizations tab drop-down menu. In this section you need to enter the individual dates for each of your vaccine doses. After you submit your dates, click on the Upload tab to upload a scanned copy of your Immunization record so Health Services staff can verify your compliance with immunization requirements. Here is a how-to video that will walk you through the process.

How To Register for the Medicat Patient Portal

Health Services utilizes an electronic health record system, Medicat, for all medical record documentation. Once students have received their Anna Maria College @amcats.edu email address they must register their username and password with the Medicat Patient Portal in order to upload required health documents to their medical record.

Here is a form for download that provides How-To directions to register for and navigate the patient portal.

Below is a video that walks you through the process as well.

Local Health Care Resources

Health Services can assist students with most urgent and routine health concerns. For emergencies or care when the office is closed, please see the expandable links below for information on local health resources.

For Serious/life-threatening Emergencies
Public Safety: (508) 494-9010 or call 911

Area Hospitals and Emergency Medical Care Centers

Hospital Hours: Telephone No. Address: Do they test for COVID-19?
St. Vincent’s Hospital (also known as Worcester Medical Center) Mon. – Fri. 8:00am – 5:00pm 508-363-5000 123 Summer St. Worcester, MA 01608  

No

UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMC)University Mon. – Fri. 7:00am – 6:00pm 508-334-1000

(connects to all sites)

55 Lake Ave, North Worcester, MA 06155 Yes. No appointment needed.
UMMC Memorial Campus Mon. – Fri. 7:00am – 6:00pm 508-334-1000 119 Belmont St, Worcester, MA 01605  

No

Local Health Resources and Services

Click here for a list of local health resources and services.

Medical Housing Accommodations and Support Animals

This page provides information about the process for making special housing accommodation requests for medical reasons, including requests for Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) on-campus.

Please note, Health & Counseling Services do not provide clinical evaluation or documentation of medical need for accommodations. Our department’s role is to review student requests and the supporting documentation that they provide from their home providers.

Important Dates:

February 1st, 2023 – Due Date for Current students with existing approved housing accommodations to
submit annual renewal request to continue housing accommodation for 2023-24
Academic Year

February 1st, 2023 – Due Date for Current students requesting housing accommodation for the first time
for the 2023-24 Academic Year

Early March, 2023 exact date TBA – Early Housing Lottery form due. Must have approval for medical
Housing Accommodation from Health and Wellness Services to access Early Housing
Lottery.

Tips for a Successful Housing Accommodations Process:

Do it early. It can take up to a week for Health and Wellness providers to review individual accommodation requests. The sooner you submit your request and documentation, the smoother your housing process will be.

Annual renewal reminders are emailed to students with existing approved housing accommodations and on-campus animals in November and December so updated documentation can be obtained from home providers over winter break if needed.

Help! I missed a deadline! – Housing Accommodation and Service Animal/ESA requests may be submitted at any time during the year, however we cannot guarantee housing availability or placement mid-year.

Housing Accommodation Request Process – First Time Applicants

Step 1: Review the relevant policy for medical housing requests or service animal/ESA requests

Anna Maria Policy Concerning Medical Housing Requests
Anna Maria Policy Concerning Assistance Animals in Campus Housing

Step 2: Fill out and submit the online Housing Accommodation Request Form (link below)
documentation in support of request can be uploaded to the form, or submitted by email to
healthservices@annamaria.edu

Step 3: A Health and Wellness Services provider will review the request and supporting documentation

Approval letters will be sent by email to the student and the Director of Residential Life and Housing
Students whose requests are denied will be notified by email with information about the reason(s) for denial. Students may re-submit requests with updated information and are encouraged to contact the Health and Wellness Center to discuss their specific needs.

Note: it can take up to a week for a provider to review and respond to your request.

Step 4: Once approved by Health and Wellness Services, students will work with Residential Life and Housing for housing placement and, in the case of assistance animals, for animal health and safety.

Click to complete the Housing Accommodation Request Form

Housing Accommodation Request Process – Renewals for Returning Students

Requests for medical housing accommodations and on-campus assistance animals must be re-submitted annually with updated documentation.

Step 1: Gather necessary updated documentation to renew housing or assistance animal request

Towards the end of Fall Semester, a reminder email will go out to students with a current approved housing accommodation and/or assistance animal to allow time over Winter Break to gather necessary documentation.

A link to the renewal form will be sent by email to those students with current approved housing accommodation and/or on-campus assistance animal.
Renewal requests must be submitted no later than February 1st in order to have housing accommodation approvals in place ahead of Early Housing Lottery selection in March.

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

What is the difference between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)? 

Some online resources that help explain the differences between Service Animals and ESAs include ADA.gov, Mass.gov, and apa.org 

Briefly, a Service Animal is a dog that is trained to perform a specific task (or tasks) directly related to an individual’s disability.  

An Emotional Support Animal (sometimes called “comfort,” “companion,” or “therapy” animals) are commonly dogs but can also be other animals whose presence alone helps an individual with a disability. Unlike service animals, ESAs are not trained to perform a task or service. 

It is important to note that both Service Animals and ESAs are not pets. They are animals who provide aid and/or support for individuals with disabilities. 

What is the process to have an Assistance Animal on campus? 

The process is similar when requesting accommodation to have either a Service Animal or ESA on campus. 

The first step is to make a formal request to a Clinician in the Health and Counseling Services Office. Usually this is a written request, however scheduling an appointment to meet in person may be sufficient, particularly in the case of Service Animals. 

Once a request is received, a clinician will review it along with any supporting documentation and either approve or deny the request with a form sent to the student and the office of Residential Life and Student Housing. 

Students who are approved will then work with Residential Life and Student Housing to ensure proper animal health and safety requirements are met (licensing, vaccinations, etc.) and, for residential students, that they are placed in animal-compatible housing. 

Students whose request is denied may submit a new request with updated information or documentation, if needed, to meet policy requirements. It is usually helpful to discuss the reasons for a denial with Health and Counseling Services staff before re-submitting a request. 

 What information is needed in requests for Service Animals or ESAs? 

For approval of a Service Animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the College is looking to confirm that the animal is a dog, and that the dog is trained to do work or perform a task for the benefit of an individual with a disability. 

If the animal requested is not a dog, OR the animal is a dog but is not trained to perform a task or do work for an individual with a disability, it does not qualify as a Service Animal under the ADA, although it may still qualify as an ESA under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). 

For approval of an ESA under the FHA, the College requires confirmation that the individual requesting the animal has 1) a qualifying disability and 2) that the animal requested provides assistance and/or therapeutic emotional support with respect to the individual’s disability. 

What constitutes a disability? 

Disability is defined by the ADA and FHA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

To determine eligibility for reasonable accommodation under the FHA, three primary questions help to determine whether an individual has a qualifying disability: 

  • Does the individual have an impairment? 
  • Does the impairment limit any major life activities? 
  • Is the limitation on any major life activity substantial? 

So, not only must a person have an impairment that limits one or more major life activities, but the limitation of at least one major life activity must be “substantial.” An impairment “substantially limits” a major life activity if the person cannot perform a major life activity the way an average person in the general population can, or is significantly restricted in the condition, manner, or duration of doing so. 

What documentation is needed when making a request for an Assistance Animal? 

 Eligibility for reasonable accommodations is established through a variety of information sources including, but not limited to, the student’s self-report, observation and interaction with the student and documentation from external sources including health care providers. 

 An extremely helpful resource for students requesting an assistance animal in campus housing is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s document: Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act.
The first portion of the document helps housing providers determine if an individual and an animal qualify for reasonable accommodation. Starting on Page 16 is guidance for how to document an individual’s need for assistance animals in housing, which students and their medical providers can follow to ensure that their request meets the requirements to be approved. 

 Service Animals 

In many cases, it is readily apparent that an animal is a dog and that it is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability (e.g. a guide dog for an individual with vision impairment, or a dog that retrieves items for an individual with limited mobility). These constitute Service Animals under the ADA and, when readily apparent, a conversation or in-person meeting with a clinician in Health & Counseling Services is all that is needed. 

In situations where the individual’s disability, the work or task the dog is trained to perform, or both are not readily apparent, College staff may ask if 1) The dog is required because of a disability and 2) What work or task the dog has been trained to perform. If the answer to both questions is “yes,” the animal qualifies as a Service Animal under the ADA and no further documentation is needed. 

Emotional Support Animals 

If the animal is not a dog, or the answer to the second question is “no,” the student will usually need to provide additional documentation to confirm their need for an assistance animal in campus housing. 

Can I show an ESA National Database Registration document, or Therapy Animal Training Certificate as evidence that my animal is a Certified ESA or Assistance Animal? 

No. There is no national certifying body or registry of either Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals. There is no specific training course that is required. We will not accept a registration or certification form as the only piece of documentation or evidence of the need for a service or emotional support animal. 

From https://www.mass.gov/service-details/about-service-and-assistance-animals:
No specific certification or registration is required … Individuals should be wary of entities that claim to provide service or emotional support animal “certification” or “registration” for a fee.” 

From https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PA/documents/HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020.pdf:
Some websites sell certificates, registrations, and licensing documents for assistance animals to anyone who answers certain questions or participates in a short interview and pays a fee. Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider may request reliable documentation when an individual requesting a reasonable accommodation has a disability and disability-related need for an accommodation that are not obvious or otherwise known.35 In HUD’s experience, such documentation from the internet is not, by itself, sufficient to reliably establish that an individual has a non-observable disability or disability-related need for an assistance animal.” 

Generally speaking, when a letter or other documentation from a healthcare provider is required by an online service to issue a “certification” or “registration,” that same letter will usually meet the requirements of the Anna Maria Policy covering Service and Assistance Animals. 

Do I need to provide a diagnosis for my disability to qualify for an ESA? 

No. Housing providers are not entitled to know an individual’s diagnosis. When the need for an assistance animal is not readily apparent, however, a housing provider may request information regarding both the disability and the disability related need for the animal. 

The clinician reviewing a request for an ESA in campus housing is looking for: 

    1. Information that reasonably supports the requesting individual has a disability (see section on “what constitutes a disability?”) 
    2. Information that the requested animal provides assistance and/or therapeutic emotional support with respect to the individual’s disability. 

Reasonably supporting information often consists of information from a licensed health care professional – e.g., physician, optometrist, psychiatrist, psychologist, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse – general to the condition but specific as to the individual with a disability and the assistance or therapeutic emotional support provided by the animal. 

Do I need to give a demonstration of the tasks my dog does to qualify as a Service Animal? 

No. It is illegal to request or require a demonstration of a Service Animal’s task or the job it is trained to do as a contingency of “proof” of it qualifying as a Service Animal. However, service dogs can often be observed performing their tasks in normal day-to-day interactions with their handlers, such as a guide-dog providing wayfinding assistance to a person who is blind, or a dog pulling a wheelchair. In these instances where it is readily apparent that a dog is performing a specific task to assist an individual with a disability, no additional information is needed to “confirm” that the animal is a Service Animal under the ADA and FHA. 

Where can my animal go on campus? 

Service Animals may go anywhere on campus that their handler needs access to, including classrooms, administrative offices, dining halls, athletic facilities, and residential facilities. 

ESAs are only permitted in areas where the student would normally go while living in the residence hall (i.e., hallways, lounges, laundry room). ESAs are not allowed in classrooms, administrative offices, dining halls, athletic facilities, or any other non-residential facilities. ESAs are not allowed in the common kitchen areas of the residence halls under any circumstances. 

I am a commuter student. Can I bring an animal to campus? 

Non-resident (commuter) students who use a Service Animal may bring their service animal to campus once they have been approved by the Health & Counseling Office. 

Approved ESAs are only permitted in a student’s living space, which for non-resident students is in their off-campus housing. Thus, ESAs for commuter students are not allowed on campus. 

 What do I do if my roommate wants to bring their animal to campus, but I don’t want an animal in my living space?  

Individuals requesting an animal in campus housing should discuss their intentions with their roommate(s) and/or suitemates as early as possible to help ensure everyone’s living needs are met. 

If your roommate is approved to bring an ESA or Service Animal into housing, and you don’t want an animal in your living space, you may reach out to the Director of Residential Life and Housing to request a housing transfer. 

Individuals requiring animal-free housing due to allergies or other medical reasons can complete a medical housing accommodation request. Those without medical specific needs for animal-free housing may still request relocation and should email reslife@annamaria.edu 

The residential life and housing staff do our very best to accommodate everyone’s needs, particularly where support animals and animal-free housing is concerned. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Housing Requests

Is a medical single guaranteed? 

No. There are a limited number of single rooms available on campus. Even if a request for a single room is approved for medical reasons, placement is still subject to availability. The College does its best to accommodate as many students as reasonably possible, but often the requests for singles are greater than the number available. 

Please think about what specific housing accommodations would best meet your needs. Not all conditions or disabilities require a single room. Individuals with GI conditions, for example, often simply desire access to a more private bathroom but can have that need met in a suite-style housing arrangement and may be comfortable with a roommate they know well. 

 

How are medical housing requests prioritized? 

Housing accommodation requests are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is first given to requests received by the posted deadline. It is our goal to place all students requesting housing accommodations for medical reasons who submit their documentation by the deadline. 

Students submitting requests and/or documentation after the deadline has passed may be placed on a waitlist. We prioritize the waitlist first by specific medical need, and then by date of submitted request. 

Rooms are offered to students on the waitlist on a rolling basis throughout the semester as space becomes available, but we cannot guarantee that every person on the waitlist will get a room. 

 

What is the process for requesting an air conditioner? 

Air conditioning (AC) units are not permitted in housing except in cases of medical necessity. The process for requesting an AC unit is the same as any other housing accommodation request and supporting documentation or letter from a medical professional is required. When completing the formstack you will select the “Medical Housing” option. You can provide information regarding your request for an AC unit in the appropriate description field. 

The College does not supply AC units but will assist with installing approved units in the room.